Q: What is your name, major and hometown?
A: My name is Dr. Ryan Schneider. I’m an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Science here at The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy. I teach predominantly the P4 and P5 years of our 0-6 program curriculum. I teach the pharmacology part which is basically how and why drugs work in the body. My hometown is Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Q: Something hands-on student are doing now?
A: One of the things that we pride ourselves here at the University of Findlay in the College of Pharmacy is the hands-on or active learning approaches that are happening inside our classrooms. One of the things that I particularly like to do is incorporate assessment slides throughout my lectures. As we go through a lecture topic, I break up the lecture into several different segments and before we move on I make sure that the students are comfortable with the material that we’ve just covered. And so, in doing that, we have the students recite back what we’ve learned and apply that material. But that’s just one of the approaches that we incorporate as active or hands-on learning in the classroom. One in particular is in our endocrinology course, that’s offered to our 4th year students in the spring semester; and for this course we start off the semester with diabetes and so with our integrated curriculum we have our students cover the pathophysiology of the pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, and therapeutics of diabetes. But we don’t just stop there, what we do is we then bring in the students and break them up into small groups in about 5 or 6 students per group and we have them do hands-on learning with diabetes equipment, supplies, or materials. For example, they might use the blood glucose machine, they might have the newest Bydureon injectable, or insulin and learn how to utilize those instruments, devices of drugs and then take that information they learn in class and apply it to how they might have to counsel a patient on those things. So that’s one of the ways that we incorporate active learning in our classrooms.
Q: Name a student you can see professional change in?
A: One of the nice things about being a professor is seeing the growth and development of our students and you can really see how they change in terms of their professional growth and development overtime. When I start to teach the students in their fourth year of a six year program here at Findlay, they have a lot of background knowledge but they don’t know a whole lot about treating various disease states, they don’t know a lot about drugs and how they work and what to counsel patients on. One of the nice things is I get to start teaching them in that state and then I get to see them grow overtime and so over the course of four different semesters they really go from knowing very little drug therapy to being able to go out and to practice and interact with other health care practitioners and being able to counsel patients on the proper use of medications. Ultimately they’re prepared then after that sixth year to take the boards and so it’s remarkable to see all of our students progress over that very short time period. But the other nice thing is that I don’t always just teach students in the classroom, it’s one of those exposures outside of the classroom that are also important. One thing that I do is I have a research lab and in that research lab we are looking at multiple different targeted therapies for cancer. In that process I get to mentor students and one student in particular that comes to mind is Tawna Whited. Tawna was a very shy student that came to me her 2nd year, she was recommended by her advisor to come see me because she was interested in research. We sat down, talked, and she made it through that first hour long conversation. I’m not sure why she didn’t just go away at that point but she stuck through it and then she came back and she worked with older students in the lab, and during that time she grew and she came back her third and fourth year and now she’s a fifth year student and she’s my research assistant. She is now in charge of doing several different things in the lab and so it’s been nice to watch her grow professionally during that time and both inside the classroom, but more importantly outside of the classroom.
Q: What’s the best part about being a pharmacy professor?
A: My favorite part about teaching is being a life-long learner myself and that’s one of the things we try to instill that value in our students. Not just learn it because you have to get an A in the class or to pass the class but rather to have that love of learning. Because as a practicing pharmacist down the road you’re always going to have to keep up on that knowledge. So, I get to keep up with everything as a teacher. But then, it’s a matter of also seeing that development in our students and seeing them come to us almost with a blank slate of knowledge. Having a lot of background knowledge but then really learning how to apply that information to the science aspects of pharmacy in the practice aspects of pharmacy. Grow and develop professionally over their time here during the curriculum. Probably the most joy that I see is when the students come back after their sixth year of advanced pharmacy practice experience and those rotations and they come back to campus right before graduation and you can really see how much they have grown and developed. You compare that back to when I first saw them in the classroom during their fourth year and it’s just amazing how much they have grown during that time. Then when they go back out, probably the most joy is when they’re out a year or two and they come back and say “hey, I really appreciate everything that you taught us because it’s really paid off!”
Q: One thing you love to do outside of the classroom?
A: One of the things that I enjoy outside of the classroom is my research lab and being able to mentor students in that capacity. It’s that one-on-one individualized attention that we can give inside the classroom but we really get to do it on an individualized basis in a laboratory setting. I’m fortunate enough to have several collaborators that we work towards developing anti-cancer compounds and it’s that interaction that I get to have with the students in that capacity. To see how they are able to apply things that they’ve learned inside the classroom but to really gain that extra experience outside the classroom and grow professionally. Whether or not they choose to go on to maybe a graduate program or not the students’ lives are forever shaped by those experiences.
Q: What advise do you have for students making their college decision?
A: So, if I were to talk to a high school student that’s making a college choice one of the things that I would recommend is make sure that the college you’re choosing is the right fit for you. There’s a lot of factors that go into that and for pharmacy in particular, you need to know what you’re options are. There are several different options for choosing a pharmacy school whether it’s a 0-6 program, 0-2 program, a 4-4 program. Know what’s out there and then visit those programs. Don’t necessarily visit them once or twice, go as often as you need to make sure that you’re meeting with the appropriate people whether it’s admissions counselor’s, faculty, staff, and most importantly, students! Getting the students take on what it’s like as a potential prospective student in that program. The other part that goes into making the perfect college choice is looking at the pros and cons of different programs. Knowing that you’re going to get a good education no matter where you’re at, but what comes down to it is what’s the best fit for you as a student.
Q: What do you love about being an Oiler?
A: One of the things I love about being an Oiler is just how this whole campus is so welcoming. When I came here as a prospective faculty member I was welcomed immediately by the family of the College of Pharmacy and also university wide. I’ve seen that grow throughout my time here as a faculty member and I also see that same thing with students. I’ve had several students that have told me that the reason they chose to be an Oiler is because of how they were welcomed here at the University. Whether that was with faculty members when they were doing a visit or admissions counselors, or students that just stopped them in the hall just to talk to them between classes. I think everybody here is so welcoming. It’s a family oriented atmosphere and it’s full of support and that’s probably my favorite thing about being an Oiler!